Keeping RIM Viable

Keeping RIM Viable

It is no secret that RIM has lost its huge lead in the smart phone area.  Not only have they lost their lead, they are in danger of becoming irrelevant.  What can RIM do to not only be viable, but to become a leader again?  There are two things they can do: put Android on RIM devices and be the premier provider of sync for contacts and tasks.

Android on RIM devices

I’m sure that I’m not the first person to suggest switching from BB OS to Android.  Although, there are some details that I think are important to make this work:

  • Keep the high quality look and feel of the devices
  • Have Wi-Fi on the phone
  • Have the killer BlackBerry keyboard.
  • Have a large screen touch device with a slide out BlackBerry keyboard.

Android on the device doesn't mean having a tool or process that can be followed to port an Android app to the BBOS. It means having Android running natively on the device. For my the BlackBerry was never about the OS. The parts of the software I like are the unified settings area, the ability to change to a nice array of fonts and the security. But more important aspects were the quality feel of the device and the signature keyboard and trackball.

Sync for Contacts and Tasks

This is an area where RIM could really jump in and dominate.  With their experience with sync and BlackBerry devices and their experience with infrastructure in the secure messaging area they are uniquely positioned to be able to make this happen.  It is amazing that in present day there is still a need for a seamless way to sync contacts and tasks between devices.  What would it take for RIM to meet this need? 
Provide web applications for viewing and managing contacts and tasks.
Provide sync software for BBOS, iOS, Android, OutLook on Windows and mail/reminders on OS X.

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